Alex R. Generous

  • Adviser: Roberto Cattaneo, Ph.D.
  • Area of emphasis: Molecular virology
  • Research area: Trans-endocytosis and other novel mechanisms of measles virus spread

What are your research interests?

My research primarily involves the idea that the measles virus has the ability to infect cells that do not express the measles virus epithelial receptor nectin-4. After infection of an epithelial cell expressing nectin-4, I am exploiting a novel cell biology process called trans-endocytosis to characterize the mechanism of measles virus infection of adjacent cells that express nectin-1.

Measles virus infection of nectin-1 cell may be relevant to explain the ability of the virus to transfer to neurons and the central nervous system. Measles infection of the central nervous system causes the poorly understood, lethal brain disorder subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). My research may provide evidence for how measles moves and potential approaches to inhibiting that movement toward the brain.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences' Virology and Gene Therapy track?

All Mayo students are "free agents," as our stipend is paid by the graduate school and not by our principal investigator. That makes us highly desirable as students and removes barriers to working with whoever best suits our training needs.

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is also open to helping develop students' career plans, regardless if they plan going into academia, industry or an alternative career. The Virology and Gene Therapy track offered the opportunity to work with scientists leading in the fields of gene therapy, oncolytic virotherapy and basic virology.

Posters

  • Generous AR, Navaratnarajah CK, Mateo M, Troyanovsky RB, Troyanovsky SM, Harrison OJ, Honig B, Shapiro L, Cattaneo R. Receptor-independent measles virus spread by nectin-4/nectin-1 mediated trans-endocytosis. Poster presented at: Institute of Molecular Virology Symposium; 2015; Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Generous AR, Navaratnarajah CK, Mateo M, Troyanovsky RB, Troyanovsky SM, Harrison OJ, Honig B, Shapiro L, Cattaneo R. Receptor-independent measles virus spread by nectin-4/nectin-1 mediated trans-endocytosis. Poster presented at: Mayo Graduate School Symposium; 2015; Rochester, Minn.

Publications

Nov. 17, 2015